In a crazy start to the 2020/21 English Premier League season which sees Everton and Leicester City leading the league table after three matches, another statement of intent will be made on Monday evening at Anfield when defending champions, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool welcome would-be contenders–the Mikel Arteta-led Arsenal.
Mr Klopp has been pleased with his team’s intensity, especially their 2-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, saying “we were in every moment. We treated every second of that game like it was a battle to win, individually and collectively.
“That’s a Liverpool performance. Dwell on nothing, be in every moment of the contest and show humility in your approach by recognising you have to work harder than your opponent before you can even think about winning. Our intensity showed our humility,” he added.
Stats after two matches
Liverpool Stat Arsenal
12 Shots on target 9
84.36% Pass Accuracy 87.95%
27 Tackles Made 20
31 Dribbles Completed 14
6 Goals Scored 5
3 Goals Conceded 1
Against Arsenal, who have prevailed over the champions in their last two meetings, Mr Arteta recognised the fact that he may have to tweak his team to get a favourable result.
In the two previous games, Arsenal had 31 and 40 percent of possession but won both matches–the league match 2-1 and the Community Shield match ended 1-1 but they won on penalties.
“Sometimes it’s what you want to do as a coach and sometimes it’s what you are allowed to do with the levels of players and performance that top teams can do against you,” Mr Arteta said in his pre-match press conference when he was asked if his team will revert to the Arsenal way or not.
He continued: “I think they were different games. The ones you mention we had very long periods where we had to defend deeper than we would like to.”
Liverpool have lost possession more times in their first two matches compared to the Gunners.
Mr Klopp’s men have also attempted fewer passes than Arteta’s team, though the defending champions can say their direct style of play has led to more goal scoring chances than the Gunners.
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The Gunners lagged by 43 points behind the champions last season but have shown a resolve to earn points in matches they would normally have lost or drawn.
Against West Ham, Mr Arteta was proud to say after the hard-fought 2-1 victory that, “we find a way to win it and it’s the mentality I want that the team always believes that we can do it up until the last moment.
“Even if we have difficult games where we suffer, we make it difficult for ourselves in certain periods, but in the end its three points.”
The match kicks off at 8pm and you can follow the updates on PREMIUM TIMES.